Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Not So Wordless Wednesday #56

Before I get down to business cutting plywood and foam I thought it would be a good idea to check how my track layout for Adena looked in photos. I mocked up a few models and snapped a few pictures with my phone.

2-6-6-2 on the east leg of the Adena wye waiting on a 2-8-4 sitting by the train order office.
The Adena Branch curves off to the left on the wye, the main line curves right then around the walls in the back. The 2-6-6-2 would be sitting partially a long curved trestle bridge.
Overview of the scene
I can tell the amount of compression needed to recreate the east end of Adena yard and the wye will makes certain views less than ideal, but over all I'm happy with the results. A few tweaks and I'll be ready to make templates to use for cutting.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Must See Photo Collection of J.J. Young Jr.

When I was searching for a new modeling location for my Nickel Plate Road interests, it was an article by J.J. Young Jr. in the January 1979 issue of Railfan & Railroad that sold me on the idea to model the coal mining brachlines of the Wheeling District. As a W&LE employee from 1946-48, he worked as an operator and agent in places like Adena, Dillonvale, Warrenton, Mingo Junction and Terminal Junction. His experiences and photos in that article provide the foundation on which I hope to model the Adena Branch and the AC&NA lines out of Adena.

Each J.J. Young Jr. photograph is practically a story unto itself, and since reading his article I've eagerly sought out his photos.  Every photo helps open a window into past of daily operations and atmosphere of railroading in the Ohio Valley.

J.J. Young Jr. passed away in 2004 but in 2014 his widow Liz allowed access to his vast collection of negatives. Mr. Young's son, J.J. Young III and another photographer Sam Botts have so far scanned hundreds of negatives and uploaded them to a Flickr page.

For a long time the photos being added were railroad subjects around Binghamton, NY where J.J. spent considerable time teaching photography until 1995. However this past spring the action shifted to the B&O around West Virginia and SE Ohio. Finally a few tantalizing photos of the 1950's Nickel Plate on the Wheeling District and elsewhere got upoaded! Then nothing and later a return to the D&H and EL railroads with upstate New York as the backdrop.

Then in December the floodgates opened.

The past couple of weeks have seen his Flickr site come to life with a slew of updates with tons of Nickel Plate Road steam action on the Wheeling District and a few from his travels to Fostoria, Cleveland And Bellevue. Lately every couple of days a few images are added showing us new views of the Nickel Plate at work around Adena, Pine Valley or even a few unknown locations. Every photo brings delight to my son and I as we find new details or figure out what might have been going on in each picture.

If you are a fan of the Nickel Plate Road or of railroading in the coal mining areas of eastern Ohio then click the link below and enjoy the images!

J.J. Young Jr. Flickr Photo Collection

Thanks again to J.J. Young III and Sam Botts for sharing these incredible images with us!

I hope the pile of W&LE and NKP negatives is a big one!

If you'd like to read more about J.J. Young Jr. a brief article about him can be found here at the Archiving Wheeling website and the Flickr archive announcement at Trains Magazine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Overlooking the Obvious in Research

On Thursday fellow Nickel Plate Road modeler and friend Tim Moran stopped by with a magazine article about the Bucyrus-Erie Shovel Plant in Milwaukee. Why? Hanna Coal had several giant stripping shovels that were built on site near the open coal mines where they would work.  At least several of these shovels were built at NKP served mines, like the "Mountaineer" on the AC&NA Branch. The pieces, some huge, would most likely be shipped by rail on the NKP and would make for some really interesting loads for flat cars or gondolas. These loads could provide the occasional special movement during future operating sessions.

All I needed were some photos for future reference when I was ready for such a project. The article in the April 2006 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman didn't disappoint, as it contained several great photos of pieces of Bucyrus-Erie's Huge Shovels loaded onto flatcars for shipment.

After reading that article I felt I should try again to see if the Marion Power Shovel Company had any photos of their loads, so off to Google I went.

I can't say I found exactly what I was looking for but I did stumble into some great photos of several different shovels being constructed. There were many exciting shots of the shovels at work and a few "new to me" pictures of the Goodyear Mine and locations along the AC&NA Branch like Tipple "E". There was even a 1940's color picture of a giant shovel in Hanna's grey paint scheme where in the background I'm pretty sure is a W&LE 2-6-6-2 working a cut of hoppers.

Where did I find all these neat photos? On the Harrison County History of Coal Museum's website.

A place that I've VISITED in person, not once but TWICE, and never thought to see if they had a website...

I always suspected they had a larger archive of photos but nobody in the Puskarich Public Library above the museum was able to help with further information or who to contact when I inquired.

Lesson learned to always check for a website for a place you visit for further info, you never know what you'll find.

So if big shovels mining coal interests you at all check out the Harrison County History of Coal Museum's website, you wont be disappointed. The physical Museum is pretty neat and is also worth a visit if you're in Cadiz, Ohio.

Harrison County History of Coal Museum, Cadiz, OH

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy"

Please pardon the following side trip from model railroading :)

Ever since visiting the WWII Battleship USS Alabama in Mobile during our family summer vacation, Brendan has gone Battleship crazy. Any kind of WWII ship crazy would be closer to the truth.

During our trip to the NKPHTS Buffalo Convention by chance we discovered their Naval Museum containing three WWII ships, the Cleveland class cruiser USS Little Rock, Fletcher class destroyer USS The Sullivans and a submarine the USS Croaker. This only fueled the fire.

Piles of books from the library followed, and soon he was telling me and my wife all about Pacific naval battles at all times of the day.

Then he discovered there were models you could buy!

I can remember building a few models as a kid like the HMS Ark Royal, so I knew this phase for Brendan would be fun and a good tool for teaching him more about model building.

When he learned about the events at Pearl Harbor he wanted to honor that by building a model of the fated USS Arizona. I found a kit on eBay for real cheap but then I got too busy to do anything for most of November.

Revell USS Arizona, test fit of major parts before painting, December 7th 2015
Finally with my busy period at work nearly over and my internship for school completed we dug into the kit last week. Knowing that he'll probably lightly "play" with the model I won't put a ton of time and detailing effort into it, plus the tooling is over 50 years old and it really shows trying to put this thing together.

We didn't finish it by Pearl Harbor Day but that's OK, not hurrying to finish a model is a good lesson to learn.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wordless Wednesday #52

Exiled from the LE&W District, S class #701 steams at Pine Valley Yard, Dillonvale, OH on 6-3-1956